Thought holds the door for Feeling as he races past, wondering why he let him talk him into this. His usual MO is to head home after a long day, retreating to the dark solitude of his thoughts. He thinks now of his cherry-walled study filled with pages and pages of text, and the image alone invokes both comfort and yearning.
He’s been standing, holding the door, trapped between sunny exit and the stale air of the bar on the other side for so long he’s lost track of time. He pushes forward, letting the heavy door slam back into place, locking him away in the bar, the sound of the door latching solidifying his decision to stay.
Feeling is two shots in already. He drinks Jamaican 10-speeds, and the sweet, syrupy liquid washes over his tongue and immediately transports him back to that bar on a Mexican beach where he danced the night away under the moon, spending money like water, and feeling vibrant and alive and like he could do anything. Thought slides into the stool next to him, adopts his usual pose – chin in hand, eyes forward and slightly down, shoulders hunched with the weight of a million unresolved ideas.
The bartender approaches, and after a painful moment in which she worries that perhaps Thought has fallen into a coma, he places his order: House Red. Just as the words escape him he immediately thinks that he’s settled. Still, the Red is on special, if he cautions himself he can effectively drive home, and he’s likely to avoid the thick-headed hangover if he drinks precisely four 6-oz glasses of water between now and…he looks at his watch…11:30. (He sets a reminder on his watch for 11:30 – “confirm water intake”) The bartender slides the glass toward him, and he thinks for just a moment that her painted red nails are like talons digging into his heart…
Feeling is headed for sloppy, but he doesn’t know it yet. He has a sneaking suspicion, but he pushes it away in favor of the uninhibited feeling of pleasure and release. It’s been a long day for both of them.
Thought and Feeling write for the Times. In the current climate, they both stay busy. Feeling writes headline-grabbing stories that, more often than not, appear on the front page. Thought spends hours pondering relevant data from various sources, often missing deadlines, and though his work has never graced the front page, it frankly contains the type of information that could save us all. Only the select few, mostly those in positions of authority, scan the heavy tome, their fingers smudged with ink, drawn to a piece buried under the weather column and next to an ad for sweaters, with a headline so tiny most would have overlooked it immediately. Inside the dry writing and the rows of data and percentages, Thought plainly shares a warning that few heed. It depresses him, honestly, but he knows the importance of his work and so he persists.
The door to the bar swings open and for a moment the entire room is blinded by a blast of sunlight so intense that Feeling immediately begins to sweat. Just as quickly, the door slams back into place, and as Feeling’s eyes adjust he can make out the silhouette of a woman in the doorway. He knows nothing yet except that her curves would make a racetrack jealous.
She walks toward them, takes the only seat available, right next to Feeling, and greets the bartender in a voice that feels like honey. They know each other, and after exchanging vitals, she places her order: Goose, rocks, splash of lime.
It would be wrong to say Thought ignored her as she walked by him. On the contrary, he took in her wavy blonde hair, her full lips, and the way her hips swayed beneath the thin fabric of her skirt. He was simply more consumed suddenly by an urge to calculate the exact probability that he would choose the stool closest to the door, with Feeling on his right, and furthest from the only open stool available when a woman of this caliber graced the door of this tiny corner bar. He’s never noticed her here before, and wonders what her name is. In his mind he assigns her ridiculous names like Daffodil, Sunlight, Sparkle. He nearly laughs but catches himself just in time, and as he does so he realizes Feeling and the woman are already engaged in conversation. Having bounded by the small talk, the weather, what they’re drinking, Thought hones in just in time to catch her name. It is Opportunity…